How to Prepare

Before the conference

  1. Plan your outfit*.
    The dress code is professional. Think of this as an interview. For men - a suit or sports coat and a tie. For women - a suit with pants or a skirt. If you want to dress with more flair, do it with accessories. And remember to wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet most of the day.
  2. Limit your baggage.
    Shaking hands gets every conversation off to a good start, so keep your hands and shoulders free from bulky or heavy bags. A portfolio to carry resumes and record notes is a good idea.
  3. Practice your brag story*.
    When an exhibitor asks you about your career goals and how your experiences are preparing you to be successful, you should be prepared with a one-minute concise answer. Good interpersonal skills, confidence and enthusiasm for working in accounting and auditing will frequently land you an interview.
  4. Bring several copies of your resume*.
    If you are ready for a professional position, show it by having your resume prepared. Bring 20 copies on high-quality paper.
  5. Research companies in advance.
    Review the list of exhibitors to find company descriptions, lists of positions available and company websites. Make note of the top 15 exhibitors you want to visit. Most students will prioritize employers on location, size, practice area and the relationship the employer has to their school.
  6. Develop 3 questions to ask exhibitors.
    Have an opening question ready when you meet exhibitors. This is part of your first impression, so be prepared and make it a good one.
  7. Follow the conference on social media.
    Receive updates and reminders leading up to the conference on Twitter and Facebook.
*See your school's career center for assistance.

During the conference

  1. Check in at the registration desk.
    Arrive early to receive your conference materials and plan which breakout sessions you’d like to attend.
  2. Fly solo in the exhibit hall.
    Job fairs are an individual endeavor. Having your friend shadow you around will appear awkward to employers. Plan to meet up with your conference buddy during the breaks or at lunch.
  3. Introduce yourself to employers.
    Make eye contact, extend your hand, say hello and introduce yourself. You will look confident and show that you have something to offer the company that is exhibiting. Follow up with your opening question.
  4. Have a plan for long lines.
    Anticipate that some companies will have long lines, but don’t get discouraged. Move on to the next company on your "must visit" list. Come back to that booth later in the morning, or after lunch.
  5. Collect business cards.
    You can't send a personalized thank you if you don't have a business card. "To whom it may concern" doesn't cut it.
  6. Take notes.
    You will meet many people, so make notes on the back of the business cards to help you remember key information.

After the conference

  1. Organize your materials.
    Sort through the information you received at each exhibitor booth. If you collected business cards, staple those to the literature from the company so you don't lose your contacts.
  2. Send thank you notes.
    Send a short thank you email to the employers you're interested in within one to two days of the conference. Hand write (yes, snail mail) short notes to those employers who you're really excited about. This can be the differentiator between you and the hundreds of other students they met.
  3. Visit the sponsors’ websites.
    Besides putting on the conference, the sponsors have resources for students available on their websites. Learn more about the sponsors and what they offer students.
  4. Update your resume.
    Did you attend a resume and interview tips one-on-one consult? Update your resume with what you learned so it's ready to be sent to potential employers.

Sponsoring organizations